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Delta Air Lines, Inc. Message Board

  • flufdriverdal flufdriverdal Mar 7, 2001 1:17 PM Flag

    How to stop those greedy pilots - 1

    Do you think pilots are overpaid?
    Are you concerned the pilots of ALPA have too much power?
    Are you tired of the pilots whining?

    Do you want to stop them?

    Here is how!

    As BUGGY pointed out previously, pilots derive their economic power from "pilot supply limitations."

    All you have to do is increase the pilot supply and you will defeat them.

    Now pay attention, this is long:

    For all of you jealous people out there who whine about the labor struggle occurring at Delta Airlines, and soon several others, listen up: The airline business is an equal opportunity career field. Airlines, including Delta, American and United are hiring loads of pilots right now. You, too, can find yourself in the cockpit of a 767, 727, 777 or any other commercial aircraft out there in the skies. The airlines hire regardless of race, religion, age or sex. They are literally the epitome of the equal opportunity employer. All it takes is enough intelligence to obtain an application, fill it out and send it back to personnel for consideration. That's it!! Then you may be
    offered an entry level position as a pilot with any of the airlines, at a starting pay of $25,000 - 28,000 per year. Congratulations.....You're on the start of your flying career.......Or are you????
    Let's see, the current qualification requirements to even be called in for an interview, are as follows: 4 year college degree (no problem, if you have a home computer in order to participate in this cyber dribble then you've got that); physically able to pass an FAA Class 1
    exam (assuming that you don�t spend all of your time sitting on your brains at the computer, then maybe you�ll be able to pass.); and oh yeah, you've got to have completed the Flight Engineer written exam, have multi-engine, commercial / instrument ratings and it wouldn't hurt
    to have the Airline Transport Rating (typed in something larger than your Lazy Boy recliner).

    Generally speaking, the current averages of new hire pilots at the airlines are: 3,300 hours total flying time, 2,700 hours multi-engine/turbo, with 1,200 hours pilot-in-command What??? You don't have the minimum qualifications to even be called in for an interview???!!! Well get off your lazy can and go get qualified. Remember, age is not a factor. You can be 60 years old and
    still get hired as a Flight Engineer - sorry the federal government says you can't fly past age 60, but you can be a plumber. Over 95 percent of the pilots at Delta Air Lines have military backgrounds. That's all you have to do.....join the military, go to pilot training and spend 9
    years on active duty flying airplanes. You'll be able to build the hours of experience necessary to qualify for the airlines, get paid while you�re doing it and get to see the world at the same time.
    What???? Can't get selected to go to pilot training because of the incredibly stringent requirements to get through the door???!!! Oh, don't want to PAY THE PRICE of having to serve your country, subject to the needs of the service and move every 2-3 years. Even then, you
    don't know whether or not the airlines will be hiring when you finally gain enough experience and complete your contract with Uncle Sam!

    Just what are those high entrance standards? Let's see. For every pilot slot there are approximately 50 who apply. From those selected, they enter a flight screening (a.k.a. washout) program that eliminates half of the group. From there you go on to Undergraduate Pilot Training (for the Air Force, the Navy has a similar program under a different name) for an entire year. Work hard, because only two out of three that enter graduate. Let's do some quick math. You are in a room with a group of people who all want to become military pilots. In fact, there are 150
    of you. Guess what? Two years later only one of you will get to walk across a stage and get your wings pinned on. Ouch. Then you get to hit the operational side.

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    • ..continued..

      Back in the mid 90's when this whole thing got started about reigning in costs, Southwest's cost structure was the industry leader, giving Dal pause, inspiring mgt to benchmark their cost controls, which bolstered a daring attempt to match their cost per available seat mile which stood at 7.5 cents. [Today, kingpin Southwest is valued at a much higher market cap than Dal.] Sassy, bloated companies, the likes of Eastern and Pan Am, eventually succumbed to bankruptcy and extinction. Similar attitudes were destined for Virgina Ave and the G.O., but thanks to some outsiders looking in (McKinsey), and to their reality checks and hard reassessments of goals and strategies, DAl had to choose the best but limited options to: sock more money away to build stockholder equity; yes, to line some executive pockets while denying higher pilot salaries; to increase its margins to regain confidence of the investment community and get off junk grade investment status; and boost its reputation for being a company going far, going places.

      This corporate soul-searching, wrenching program named Leadership 7.5 took place in the mid 90's about the time the greatest bull market manaia began its tear. It is no coincidence that times had been tough in the airline industry preceding this "change" program. Losses industy-wide had been historic. The company was plain "fat." Employees sacrificed much for this gut wrenching 7.5 program. Lives and careers were turned upside down. Pilots say their sacrifices since 'Contract 1996' were heaviest, and today want to turn back the clock to recoup all of their sacrificial dollars and cents, 3 billion was it? Since then, the company shored up its balance sheet, made some artful, wile investments, bought Comair/ASA (RJ's), modernized its information technology (bad conotation today), and did a host of things to position itself for positive growth, for the eventuality of consolidation.

      Examining the time frame from pilot 'Contract 96' and Leadership 7.5 (1995-96 thereabouts), to last year 2000, what is remarkable--keeping the economic picture in context--is how, for instance, the rise in the Nasdaq matched point for point the run-up in the Dow Jones Industrial Average ahead of the October 1929 [Great Depression] stock market crash, then surged even further and faster in the last months of 2000 than any excesses of 1929, making it the biggest stock market bubble in modern times [FT].
      Enter today, where stock market bubbles are popping all over the world, not just in the US where over 4 trillion has been wiped out, but a global contagion, where there's no where to hide for investors; where, today, mgt and pilots are locked in contentious negotiations to settle once and for all who has which hand, who has the 'upper,' who has the 'lower' hand, though to think in those terms is self-defeating, a set up for failure. The thought came to mind about 'manias,' 'bubbles,' and exaggerated expectations, namely, was postulating if ALPA wasn't locked into a wage and benefits [contract] mindset that parallels the greatest stock market bubble in the history of the world?

    • The previous relates to "regular" line flying.

      While sitting reserve (I never do that - so I forgot to mention it) A pilot gets paid for being on call. Only the very junior pilots (in each category) have reserve duty because it's not a good deal - less pay, typically even more flying with much less control of off time.

      That is all.


    • Negatron little buck!

      Unless you want to count per diem at a buck eighty an hour?

      There is no "base" salary.

      No fly, no pay. Just like I said.

      Would it not be really stupid to lie on a public forum like this?

      My pay is being negotiated in the newspapers - what do you make? When was your last raise? What was your starting pay? Actually, I really don't care.

    • **** continued ****

      The major airlines do not pay for those 10 or more years folks spend gaining experience as it is. Everyone's story is a bit different. The majors want the best. They must offer pay and compensation to attract the best people they can. And here's why;

      On any given day, during any given flight, the cockpit crew holds in their hands not only the precious lives of the folks on board, but the livelihood of all the people who work for that airline. A couple stupid accidents involving big airplanes could destroy a multi-billion dollar company overnight. The lawsuits alone would erase all the profits we've seen over the past few years. It's not just drivin' a bus.

      In addition, the 6 figures you mention do not come into play for several years anyway. So, for an aspiring pilot to get to the six figures he's gonna' spend 10 to 12 years building time and experience before he gets hired at a major, then spend another bunch of years on the big iron. Then, if and only if the airline grows will he see 6 figures. DAL has pilots that were hired in 1991 (many of whom were furloughed - layed off for several years) who spent 8 years getting to the 6 figures. More than 80% of those guys and gals were prior military. So, for the folks I just mentioned it took them TWENTY years of hard work to break 100k. Had they chosen law school, med school, vet school, dental school or most other schools that "milestone" would have happened within 5 years.

      The airlines get what they pay for - otherwise they would not pay for it. Remember, both sides sign the contract - an agreement for us to provide services for a fee. All of this is factored into the cost of doing business.

      <<<< 2. Labor peace >>>>>
      Will never happen. It's not supposed to. It has evolved in to a system of checks and balances. Management's job is to pay us as little as possible. Our role is to fight for every nickle. There will be a happy medium - there always is. (Don't bring CAL or EAL into this - lorenzo destroyed those companies on purpose to line his grubby pockets.)

      <<<<Q? How many flight hours does a Comair pilot log in a year?>>>>>
      I would guess between 900 and 1,000 (1,000 being the max allowed by law.)

      You've got some good ideas - I'm just not sure the challenges facing the industry today could be solved by using them. Thanks for the debate.



    • coair_1,

      How's it going?

      >>>What I am saying is that a after 1500 hours and an ATP rating (FlightSafety) I would think that you're ready to get behind the yoke of a small prop as one of the two-man team. Is this not correct?<<<<<

      Yes it is - in the right seat for a couple years. That's not what's happening in many companies. The company I spoke of before had sub-six month captains flying 50 seat airplanes. They barely had the 1,500 required hours (most of which were single engine time) and their captain checkride was also their ATP ride. Bare bones minimuns by law. Not real smart - but legal.

      >>>>We are in a day and age where most new pilots are no longer from the military...>>>>

      You are correct.

      >>>>into a FlightSafety program<<<<<
      Having attended one of these programs as a student (post military) I was NOT impressed. Again, the ground school course and the simulator training covered the bare minimums to pass the FAA checkride. That's OK for someone who's been doing it for a dozen years - but not for the new pilots with 200 hours - attending their first FAR Part 121 airline school. Scary.

      These new guys and gals cut their teeth with paying PAX on board - that's the part I don't like.

      <<<<<So I think there are already green pilots out there...I'm not really suggesting any different standard-just how to get someone there.>>>>>

      OK, good point. I may have misunderstood your previous post.

      <<<<<My point is that from a business perspective you get back every dime you put into training a pilot by 1. not having to pay multiple 6 figure salaries, and 2. labor peace. Well worth the investment.>>>>>>

      Good point, however, the retail cost for that flight safety turboprop school mentioned above is $5k. In house an airline can do it for about $3,500. That's not nearly the $1.5 million investment the military needs to be worked off.

      That civilian investment gap can not be absorbed by the airline unless they want to run little flight schools, haul checks, fly light twins full of cargo, train student pilots, fly charter, tow banners, contract out bush flying, and handle all those other general aviation tasks that are perfect for gaining EXPERIENCE. Just boring holes in the sky while watching the clock does not cut it.

      I once worked for a flight school on the West Coast that trained very young Mexican pilots for Mexican airlines. These kids came in knowing nothing of aviation and were to return home 6 to 9 months later ready for the cockpit of a DC-9 or 737-200. We taught them all the school stuff we could. However, at the end of the day they still had only 6 to 9 months of basic experience, in little airplanes, in a controlled environment - not the same as years of real experience, out there in the dark, very alone and sometimes very afraid.

      **** Continued ****

    • Next you'l be telling me that labor relations hard ball business dealings--nah, get-outaheaah!

    • Buck--

      Not hardly--you are one bitter misguided person that shoots from hip-- or as they say mouth utters words before brain is engaged..Your arguments are pathetic--You must really be bucking for a promotion--is it to honey bucket driver from sweeper??

      Have a nice night--I am going fishing and will spit on the hook everytime I light my lantern with your posts..BTW are you posting from work??? :-)....ROTFLMAO


    • Bago,
      Actually, free lunches are something that ALPA is negotiating in the current contract

    • Buck--

      You are wrong again--someone will explain it to you--their ain't no free lunches--only you wish--


    • Jurasic lies in saying that pilots do not get paid except when flying.

      You do get base salary, which is above and beyond any flight pay. Right?

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